One of the many different slices that make up the pie of finance is investing. But no matter what your friends tell you, what you hear on the radio or what your favorite television drama series star tells you on commercials, investing is not something that should be done by everybody. For this major reason, we’ve compiled a few tips for beginners who feel compelled to invest in the wide world of stocks.
First things first, don’t just “pick and choose” stocks. In other words, do your homework before buying into anything. The “so-called” expert authors are telling first-timers to read at least three different books on stocks and investing before placing a dime into a brokerage. They are also saying that the best resources available are those under the heading of “personal finance” at your local library, bookstore, or even as e-books, as these offer a wide range of options for your finances including proper insurance coverage on your personal property and how to get the most out of your 401K- two vital items in your personal financial pie. Beginning investment strategies for the stock market is usually a small part of the big picture. “How to Retire this Year with the Market” or something similar is not worth the paper it’s printed on, for a strong financial portfolio requires so much more than one perspective.
If you’re bound and determined to invest in stocks, do yourself a favor and find a financial advisor or stockbroker that is paid a flat fee for services provided and is not on commission. We’re not implying that all employees who work on commission are out to rob you of your hard-earned cash, but it’s just safe to say that those who work on a fee have absolutely no temptations to sell you one product over another.
As far as the online traders go, the vast majority of them charge on a per-trade basis, usually around the $10 mark. But you are in total command of all trades, so you’ll need to treat such an endeavor as a part-time job that you work at every day. The stock market is tricky, and even the top experts don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at record-breaking levels today, but absolutely no one knows for sure what will happen tomorrow.
But if you’re like the majority of us who just doesn’t have the time nor the energy to invest tons of time conducting the necessary research to start out on the right foot, you might want to take your cash and invest it in index funds (a type of mutual fund that reflects the performance of an entire index, like the S & P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average), certificates of deposit, an IRA, or a good old-fashioned savings account until you have a well mapped out plan for investing on Wall Street.